Anything can happen in the small sample size of the hitter-friendly Arizona Fall League, but the types of skills that Roberts showed are consistent with what he has shown since the Twins drafted him with their 5th round pick in 2010. In 35 Appalachian League games that season, he hit .336/.444/.547 (.991) with ten doubles, a triple, and five homers. Because of knee injuries, he has spent the past two seasons in Beloit. In 2011, he hit .302/.443/.446 (.889) with 12 doubles, four triples and four home runs. In 2012, he hit .299/.433/.427 (.860) with 18 doubles, three triples and four homers. He walked 44 times and struckout 37 times. In the past two seasons, he has been hit by 52 pitches. Roberts epitomizes what it means to be a leadoff hitter. He also grows a fantastic mustache.
Today, Twins Daily is thrilled to bring you 12 Questions With… Nate Roberts.
Twins Daily (TD): Growing up in Illinois, who was your favorite team and who were some of your favorite players?
Nate Roberts (NR): I was a Cubs fan growing up and as a kid my favorite player was Mark Grace. Most recent Cubs that I enjoyed watching were Kerry Wood, Mark Derosa, and Reed Johnson.
TD: Tell us about your high school career (baseball and/or other extra-curriculars).
TD: What were some of the highlights of your college playing days at various schools, culminating with a tremendous season High Point?
TD: The Twins drafted you in the 5th round in 2010... is that about where you were expecting to go, and did you have much communication with Twins scouts before that?
TD: You signed quickly and went to Elizabethton. How would you describe your adjustment to pro baseball and what did you learn from that first season?
TD: You have spent the last two seasons in Beloit battling knee injuries, but when you're in the lineup, you are the consummate leadoff hitter, getting on-base over 40% of the time, even if it means getting hit by a ton of pitches. Is that your philosophy as a hitter? (Get on base)
TD: Were you surprised when you heard you were going to the Arizona Fall League? What were your expectations going into that season?
TD: Fair to say that things went well for you there as you led the AFL in Batting Average, On-Base Percentage and Slugging Percentage. What were some of the big take-aways for you from your time in Arizona?
TD: Looking to 2013, what are some of your goals? Do you think you'll start in Ft. Myers or jump up to New Britain?
TD: Who are some of the people who have helped you get to this point in your career as a baseball player?
TD: If you weren't playing baseball, what would you be doing (your career of choice)?
TD: Favorite baseball movie?
Thank you very much to Nate Roberts for taking time out of his offseason schedule to answer our questions. We wish him the best in spring training and wherever the 2013 season brings him.